Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Japanese Beetles

While scrolling through Garden Voices this caught my eye:

via Gardening Question of the Day (from the Old Farmer's Almanac) on 1969-12-31, 19:00:00

I would like to know what annual flowers the Japanese beetle will not eat. (answer).

From The Old Farmer's Almanac.

reBlogged to pests on Jul 14, 2007, 11:00PM

So I clicked to find this answer:
Japanese beetles prefer perennials, and they do their dining on leaves, not flowers. Try planting marigolds, cosmos, bachelor's buttons, and morning glories. Stay away from yellow flowers (with the exception of marigolds) -- yellow is their favorite color. If you find them to be a problem in your garden, head out first thing in the morning with a bucket of soapy water. Getting rid of the beetles is as simple as shaking them into the bucket.

They do love my perennials, and they dine on both the leaves and flowers. They especially love the hollyhock, coneflower and bee balm flowers although they will dine on the leaves if they are trying to hide from me. My yellow tickseed and black-eyed susans seem to be off of their radar. They haven't touched a single butterfly bush bloom yet but one bush has almost no leaves left. Zinnias seem to be another favorite. And plants close to the house seem to be tastier than those farther away.

I do keep a bucket of soapy water in the garden but I laughed out loud at the thought of shaking them into the bucket. Go ahead and shake your plants and watch them fly away to another section of the garden. We patrol the garden and pick all of them that we can find to send to a watery grave but I swear three more appear for every one we get!

I know that beetle traps just attract every beetle in a 1/4 mile (or is it mile?) so I'm wondering if it would be wrong of me to buy a trap and set it up down the road at the edge of one of my neighbors yards?


  1. Ha! Your beetle problem sounds so much like mine! They obviously dislike marigolds and love my hollyhocks. They find my milkweed flowers to be quite tasty and are now feasting on my wisteria too. I have several containers with soapy water and the kids like picking the bugs off the plants and dropping them into the water. I don't touch them without gloves! Sometimes I can knock them off the leaves but often they fly away. As for the traps, I am afraid of attracting more of those pesky things into my yard. I'm thinking more and more about buying the Milky Spore stuff that kills even the grubs. It's supposed to be environmentally safe. In the meantime I groan every time I see another one of those awful creatures!

  2. I don't usually have them but we do this year. The more northern beetles are feasting on coneflowers as their favorite.